The University of Texas at Austin’s Counseling and Mental Health Center is attempting to ‘help’ male students develop a ‘healthier’ sense of masculinity by trying to redefine what it means to be a man.
The University is displaying posters that promote men wearing dresses, nail polish, makeup, and placing flowers in their beards in an attempt to ‘prevent interpersonal, relationship, and sexual violence.’
The program teaches that men suffer when they are told to “act like a man” or be “successful” or a breadwinner.
The posters include quotes from students who have embraced the university’s definition of masculinity, one of the posters reads; “I don’t identify as masculine, it’s just imposed on my body. One way I embrace my femininity is by wearing make-up and doing my nails.”
Another poster reads; “Even though I’m masculine, I can wear makeup, and if I feel like wearing a dress, I can do that too, and it’s totally fine.”
Through the project, the university’s stated goals are to;
- Expand perceptions regarding what masculinity can look like on the UT campus and in society
- To develop a healthy model of masculinity that respects the range of ways to express a male identity that includes access to a range of behaviors, emotions, hobbies, jobs, etc.
- We also hope this “Expanding MasculinUT” will invite conversation about masculinities here at UT and beyond
Below are a few of the posters which are displayed both on the campus and on the University’s website.